By Ted Scouten

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A sad, painful procession, as family and friends of BSO Deputy Daniel Rivera escort his body to Calvary Chapel to say good bye.

One by one, members of Rivera’s heartbroken family paid tribute.

“My dad was the best dad ever,” said his son Damian Barrio. “He was not only my dad; he was like a best friend to me. I love him so much. Miss him so much. Like i said, he’s in a better place right now, watching over us, protecting us and keeping us safe.”

Rivera died 10 days after his BSO cruiser slammed into a tree while he was heading to work, a shock to his family.

“It’s hard for me to understand, how such a young kid can leave us!” cried Rivera’s uncle Moses Hernandez. “I guess God needed another angel in heaven.”

Those who knew Rivera remember him as a fun guy, with a great sense of humor, filled with drive and determination.

“I looked up to him as a role model because he was able to set his goals at such a young age and accomplish them,” said Rivera’s aunt Nellie Capellan. “That gave me so much inspiration and motivation. It made me feel as if I could do anything, just watching him.”

Sheriff Scott Israel reminded fellow deputies and friends that the best way to honor Rivera is to follow his example.

“Let your lives and actions carry on the goodness and decency, the dedication and the selflessness that marked the life of our fallen hero, Deputy Danny Rivera,” Sheriff Israel said.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the crash is still ongoing. Investigators are checking to see if rainy weather played a role or if there was a mechanical problem with his car. BSO is also looking for any other drivers who saw the crash.


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